The Five Factors for a Phenomenal Family

Starting right now, you can begin to make choices and take day-to-day actions that will create nothing short of a phenomenal family. You can choose to have one if you just resolve to do it and know where to put your focus. That's where the Five Factors for a Phenomenal Family come in. These factors aren't inherited, but they're not particularly difficult to implement. Creating these factors in your family begins with you. You must start by believing in yourself and your family's right to be phenomenal.

Dr. Phil devotes an entire chapter of Family First: Your Step-by-Step Plan for Creating a Phenomenal Family to his Five Factors for creating a family where every member is a star in their own right. This involves having a new mindset, a new philosophy and personal truth as well as a plan of action. So start now with the attitude that you are going to re-parent your family. Resolve to get your mind right and your behavior on track. Here's a brief look at the Five Factors:

Factor 1: Create a Nurturing and Accepting Family System.

The number one need in all people is the need for acceptance, the need to experience a sense of belonging to something and someone. The need for acceptance is more powerful in your family than anywhere else. The following to-do list can help you bring the spirit of acceptance into affirmative, interactive action in your family:

Factor 2: Promote Rhythm in Your Family Life.

Children need rhythm in their lives, and it is unsettling to them when they don't have it. This factor is critical to the well being of your family, and here are some steps to help promote that rhythm.


Factor 3: Establish Meaningful Rituals and Traditions.

Your family may celebrate rite-of-passage rituals such as baptism or bar mitzvahs, or bedtime rituals of a bath followed by story time. Here are some ways to establish rituals and traditions in your own family:

Factor 4: Be Active in Your Communication.

The greatest things you can give your children are your ears and your voice. Meaningful dialogue takes into account each family member's need for acceptance, self-respect, encouragement and security.

Factor 5: Learn How to Manage Crisis.

When it comes to family life, it's not a question of whether or not a crisis will hit — it's a matter of when. No matter how smoothly your life goes, no matter how well you parent with a purpose, you'll encounter some crisis, and it will impact your life together as a family. Maybe you discover that your child is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Or your family must adjust to life with a chronically ill child or parent. Your best chance to navigate the rough waters of a crisis is to have a consciously designed crisis management plan in place for overcoming the tough stuff — before it hits. Your plan might include any of the following.

This is just a glimpse of Dr. Phil's Five Factors. For a more complete understanding of how to create the change you want in your family, see Chapter 3 in Family First: Your Step-by-Step Plan for Creating a Phenomenal Family.